B.S. in Space Physics

The Bachelor of Science in Space Physics is designed to produce graduates who want to pursue careers in space-related professions or who want to pursue advanced studies in diverse areas of science and engineering. This program supports the University’s purpose “to provide a comprehensive education to prepare graduates for productive careers and responsible citizenship with special emphasis on the needs of aviation, aerospace engineering, and related fields.”

As defined by NASA, “Space Physics is the scientific study of magnetic and electric phenomena that occur in outer space, in the upper atmosphere of planets, and on the Sun. Space physicists use ground-based instruments, balloons, rockets, satellites, and deep space probes to study these phenomena where they occur.” Examples of such studies include space shuttle aurora observations, ground-based solar studies, ground-based ionospheric studies, balloon flights to the edge of the atmosphere, and sounding rocket flights into near space.

The program shares its facilities and some coursework with the Engineering Physics and Astronomy & Astrophysics programs.

Admission Requirements

To enter this program, students must have completed four years of high school science and mathematics, demonstrating a high level of competency. Successful candidates for this program will be prepared to enter Calculus I and Chemistry for Engineers.

Degree Requirements

The Bachelor of Science in Space Physics degree program requires 121 credit hours. The program can be completed in eight semesters. The courses necessary to earn this degree are listed below. Students should be aware that several courses in each academic year may have prerequisites and/or corequisites. Check the course descriptions at the back of this catalog before registering for classes to ensure requisite sequencing.

A grade of C or better is required to satisfy lower-level prerequisites for entry into all EP and PS courses.

General Education Requirements

For a full description of Embry-Riddle General Education guidelines, please see the General Education section of this catalog. These minimum requirements are applicable to all degree programs.

Year One
EP 101 Current Topics in Space Science 1
MA 241 Calculus and Analytical Geometry I 4
MA 242 Calculus and Analytical Geometry II 4
PS 140 Chemistry for Engineers 4
PS 141 Chemistry for Engineers Laboratory 1
Communication Theory and Skills * 6
PS 226 Physics I 3
PS 226L Physics I Laboratory 1
Lower-Level Humanities * 3
Lower-Level Social Sciences * 3
 Credits Subtotal30.0
Year Two
EGR 115 Introduction to Computing for Engineers 3
MA 243 Calculus and Analytical Geometry III 4
MA 345 Differential Equations and Matrix Methods 4
Communication Theory and Skills * 3
PS 227 Physics II 3
PS 228 Physics III 3
PS 228L Physics III Laboratory 1
Lower or Upper-Level Humanities or Social Science Elective * 3
Open Electives 6
 Credits Subtotal30.0
Year Three
EP 320 Electro-Optical Engineering 3
EP 393 Spaceflight Dynamics 3
EP 400 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics 3
MA 441 Mathematical Methods for Engineering and Physics I 3
MA 442 Mathematical Methods for Engineering and Physics II 3
PS 303 Modern Physics 3
PS 305 Modern Physics Laboratory 1
PS 320 Classical Mechanics 3
Open Elective 6
Upper-Level Humanities or Social Science Elective * 3
 Credits Subtotal31.0
Year Four
EP 410 Space Physics 3
EP 411 Space Physics II 3
EP 420 Planetary Science 3
EP 440 Engineering Electricity and Magnetism 3
EP 455 Quantum Mechanics 3
EP 492 Senior Project 3
PS 400 Senior Physics Laboratory I 3
PS 405 Atomic Nuclear Physics 3
Technical Electives 6
 Credits Subtotal30.0
 Credits Total: 121

Embry-Riddle courses in the general education categories of Communication Theory and Skills, Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Technical Electives may be chosen from the approved list of General Education courses, assuming prerequisite requirements are met. Courses from other institutions are acceptable if they fall into these broad categories and are at the level specified in the Space Physics vertical outline.